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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, May 17, 2001 (Vol. 6, #35 - Issue #270)
Xbox to be released Nov 8 for $299 US
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Important Active Directory Survey
    • Xbox to be released Nov 8 for $299 US
    • IT Training: Is It Worth It To Your Boss?
    • Microsoft Adds Crucial Active Directory Feature
    • NT 4.0 Domain Controllers Upgrade To W2K Taking Hours?
    • WQuinn?s StorageCentral Technology Included in MS Kit
    • Do You Need IT Resources?
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • The MCSE Consulting Bible
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Important Active Directory Survey

We are all very interested to know how everybody else is doing with AD. Industry Analysts say it's slow. Microsoft claims it's going the way they had envisioned it. Customers say it's complex, but might pay off. To get rid of all the guesswork, Sunbelt Software and the Giga Infor- mation group would like to ask you to participate in our 3 minute Web- survey. It's a short, to-the-point survey on AD use and implementation. The questions are detailed and I'm sure you'll learn something by just filling out the survey. You will get the results before the general public so everyone will benefit. Thanks in advance! Here goes:

If you want to discuss Active Directory related issues, Sunbelt sponsors a free Forum (list server) that you can subscribe to and talk about AD problems/solutions. Get on the ad-list here:

Xbox to be released Nov 8 for $299 US

And for all you gamers out there [grin] Microsoft has just announced that they will be releasing their Xbox video game console on Nov 8 for $299 US. I can't wait to get my hands on one of these puppies :) Here is the complete story:

Warm regards,
Stu Sjouwerman

(email me with feedback: [email protected])

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IT Training: Is It Worth It To Your Boss?

All of you are involved in continuous learning, just to keep up with the market. But sometimes, it's difficult to get the company to front the costs. Here is an article that I asked Sandra L. Hamilton to write for W2Knews, which will give you some ammo to get the company to pay for your Certification. It was written so you can copy and paste it and send it to your seniors. Here goes!

"In today?s economy and information technology explosion, the most important skill set employers seek are technical skills. For the first time in employment history, a college degree is not the number one deciding factor when hiring new employees. The technical certifications you attain and what you know about information processing, networking, web development, etc., are the key elements to landing the job of your dreams.

But what about the skills of the current workforce at any given company? Many of these employees are loyal, hard-working individuals who are committed to the goals of their employer.....however, their technical skills may be somewhat outdated. What to do? Isn?t it better to assist your loyal workers in acquiring new skills than to let them go and recruit new technical employees who may not have the same work ethics and values or may not "fit" in your organization.

Upgrading the skills of your current workforce makes sense on several different levels. It is a proven way to keep valued employees and save on the cost of new hires. Also, according to research done by the Meta Group, employees view "retraining" as one of the most sought-after "perks" in the workplace. After stock options lose their luster and the memory of vacations fade, it is the company that provides technical computer training for their employees that will inspire the strongest loyalty and increased overall productivity and profit margins.

Think about this: A Win-Win Situation....

$1 spent on corporate IT training can yield a tenfold return on investment within one year (Merrill Lynch). And, by providing new technical training, the company wins again by incorporating new technology into the workforce thereby increasing productivity, employee morale, and improved product and/or service quality. Conversely, the employees "win" because they receive new technical skills and abilities that will enhance their value and marketability in the future. Additionally, their self worth, self esteem and job security are all reinforced. Retaining and retraining your best people is the most cost effective way to go.

Whenever an employee leaves, it costs the company nearly 2 times their salary to hire a replacement once you include salary increases, advertising, third-party recruiter fees and hiring bonuses paid to the new workers. (Meta Group). There?s an old adage, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance". In the corporate world, ignorance of new and emerging technologies means you lose the competitive edge and fall behind. And your competitors are already providing technical training to their employees as reported by the Meta Group. 300 percent more companies offered IT training in the year 2000 compared to the previous decade. And projections for the next three years are dramatically higher given the momentum of technological advances.

Perhaps by now we have convinced you that corporate IT training is beneficial to all parties involved. Great. But, how do we find the resources to do it? The expense of corporate training may be defrayed in a number of ways.

One way is through tax credits. The Technology Workforce Coalition (a non-profit industry organization) has been pushing for a tax credit for IT training for years, and their efforts have recently borne fruit in several states such as Arizona, Maryland, and others. Arizona for instance passed a state tax credit of 100% of the costs per employee up to a maximum of $1500. This credit goes to the small business owner who is investing in his workforce to ensure his company will meet the technological challenges facing us today. We hope that a similar bill passes in the California Legislature soon.

Another way to defray the retraining costs is to apply to the State Employment Training Panel (ETP) whereby the California Unemployment Insurance (which represents employer contributions to the UI fund) is sponsoring 'upgrading' of employee skills in an effort to keep California?s economy healthy and prosperous. This program will cover the costs associated with technical training to employees. One criteria is that an applicant company must identify at least twenty (20) workers who need upgrading. And the training must be offered during work hours.

One way to do this creatively is to offer a "lunchtime training" program whereby employees go to a local training center and are provided a box lunch along with their two-hour training session. The employee gives up their lunch break and the employer throws in an extra hour on the clock. What a concept!! The "lunchtime training" program will include training in the following areas:

  • Troubleshooting and computer repair at the office
  • MS Word and Excel 2000
  • Email and using the Internet for business research
  • Network Installation and Administration Overview
  • Web design and development
  • Making effective and attention-getting presentations in PowerPoint 2000
Remember our great country has succeeded because we believe in "lifelong learning".... and the power of educating everyone to their greatest potential. Your employees are worth it!

Author Sandra L. Hamilton is President & CEO of EdNet Career Institute, Inc., a Computer Training facility in Warner Center. EdNet is a Microsoft Technical Education Center as well as an authorized Testing Center for IT certification exams. She can be reached at [email protected]


Microsoft Adds Crucial Active Directory Feature

Complaining about some of AD's shortcomings? Redmond is reworking the way its single highest administrative privilege works. This will make AD easier to manage. Beta 3 version of W2K2 Server will have the feature to delete objects and attributes established in the directory schema. It is called "Schema Delete", and is expected to be included in W2K2 when it ships early next year. Novell's eDirectory and IPlanet's Directory Server 5.0, which shipped recently, already lets you delete schema. There is an interesting article in InfoWorld:

If you want to discuss Active Directory related issues, Sunbelt sponsors a free Forum (list server) that you can subscribe to and talk about problems/solutions. Get on the ad-list here:

NT 4.0 Domain Controllers Upgrade To W2K Taking Hours?

Windows 2000 Magazine has a few good items on this particular issue. They reported that when you upgrade from NT 4.0 to W2K and the winnt32.exe program is running, NT 4.0 domain controllers (DCs) that have large SAM account databases might hang for excessive periods during the "Performing final tasks" phase of the upgrade. Click on the link and on the same page are a few other interesting items as well:


WQuinn?s StorageCentral Technology Included in MS Kit

WQuinn Associates announced that MS released its Server Appliance Kit (SAK) 2.0 to manufacturing with WQuinn?s StorageCeNTral storage resource management (SRM) technology embedded in the kit. MS CEO Steve Ballmer highlighted the release to manufacturing of the Microsoft SAK 2.0 at the MS-Windows Embedded Developers Conference 2001 Tokyo.

WQuinn's technologies covered under the terms of the agreement include StorageCeNTral?s patented real-time quota monitoring and enforcement, "best practices" storage utilization reporting, and screening of unwanted file types such as MP3 files from writing to server appliances built on the Server Appliance Kit 2.0. This is an OEM agreement, which means you cannot buy the stuff from MS, but comes with hardware from storage vendors like Compaq, Dell, IBM, Maxtor and NEC.

"The time has come for real-time storage resource management software to become a part of any Windows storage environment, from a single server to the largest storage area network or server appliance", said Najaf Husain, WQuinn?s president and CEO. "We are not surprised that Microsoft has underscored the significance of the Server Appliance Kit 2.0 announcement by having Steve Ballmer himself deliver the news."

You can get your own (eval) copy of StorageCentral and test it in your environment. We find that generally, people get 30% of their storage back when they first run this tool and find all the file pollution that sits there lurking:

Do You Need IT Resources?

If you are an IT vendor looking for new clients, you should have a look at the brand new W2Knews MarketPlace. Some people also call this an "RFP Center" (Request For Proposal). It saves you time, money and headaches.

If you are an IT Buyer: you can post RFPs and qualified solution providers active in the Microsoft will respond with proposals for you to evaluate. Vendors: respond to RFPs and turn prospects into customers.

Tons of RFPs and vendors are available right now! Check it out at:


This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

  • Need To Change Hundreds Of Service Passwords At Once? Check This:
  • Microsoft signs Europe/USA's Safe Data Privacy Agreement. Important.
  • ZDNet has a good little article, an Active Directory primer. Recommended.

    The MCSE Consulting Bible

    According to the 1999 Salary Survey conducted by MCP Magazine, the average MCSE has 6.8 years of experience. The average self-employed MCSE consultant with 6 - 9 years of experience earns $85,000 - that's over $8,000 more than the average salary +bonus and benefits package of other MCSEs. There is a demand for MCSEs who can offer a variety of technical expertise and services, and this book will show readers how to create a successful consulting business. MCSE Consulting Bible walks readers through the issues to consider when making the decision to start their own consulting business and then offers key advice on each aspect of the business from deciding what services to offer, to marketing, to maintaining customer relationships.